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Sexual Harassment: Frequently Asked Questions

Understanding Your Rights as Workers

It is crucial for employees to understand their rights to ensure they are not taken advantage of by employers or afraid to speak up when something inappropriate occurs in the workplace.

If you were sexually harassed at work, contact Levin & Nalbandyan, LLP at (213) 267-3640 to schedule a consultation and learn more about your legal options.

Continue reading to learn the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding sexual harassment in the workplace:

  • What is sexual harassment? Under federal law, sexual harassment is a form of discrimination that is based on sex. However, federal law does not consider offhand comments, light teasing, or isolated incidents as sexual harassment unless it occurs frequently, facilitates a hostile work environment, or negatively impacts one’s employment. Single incidents might also be unlawful if the incident is severe and involves unwanted touching or a demand for favors that are of a sexual nature.
  • When are employers responsible for sexual harassment by an employee’s supervisor? Employers are always responsible for sexual harassment by a supervisor. In cases where an employer does not take any action in response to sexual harassment, he or she must prove that the employee failed to raise a complaint to management and that reasonable care was exercised to prevent and address harassment in the workplace.
  • What should employers do about sexual harassment? It is an employer’s responsibility to foster a healthy work environment and to enforce policies that prohibit sexual harassment. Employers should have a procedure in place for filing complaints and must take appropriate corrective actions when necessary. It is also helpful to have employees and supervisors take training courses to learn how to deal with sexual harassment.
  • Are complaint procedures effective if an employee is expected to report to their immediate supervisors? Given that, in some cases, an employee’s supervisor might be the person who is committing sexual harassment, this would not be an impartial or effective procedure. Instead, employers should designate an official who is not within an employee’s chain of command to take these complaints to ensure they are properly handled.
  • Is asking a co-worker out for a date considered sexual harassment? Some employers have policies that prohibit intimate relationships between co-workers. If your employer does not have such a policy, then politely asking someone out for a date once would likely not be considered sexual harassment. However, repeatedly asking for a date might constitute sexual harassment.
  • Can my employer fire me for making a sexual harassment complaint? It is against the law to fire an employee for filing a sexual harassment complaint. Of course, this does not mean it never happens. However, it does mean that you can take legal action against your employer for wrongfully terminating your employment. You can also take legal action against your employer if you suffered any other negative effects as a result of your sexual harassment complaint.
  • Do I need to hire an attorney? If you are unsure about your rights as an employee, lost your job after filing a complaint, do not know what steps to take next, or have any other questions regarding your situation, you should consider hiring skilled legal help to protect your rights.

Contact a Sexual Harassment Attorney at Levin & Nalbandyan, LLP!

If you are the victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, you should not hesitate to obtain experienced legal counsel. At Levin & Nalbandyan, LLP in Los Angeles, our team is prepared to stand up for your rights and ensure justice is served.

Call our office today at (213) 267-3640 to schedule a consultation.

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